Tuesday 26th December 2000
Northern Premier League Premier Division
Hyde United: Graham Bennett, John Foster, Paul Robertson, Mark Beeston, Gus Wilson (Brendan Aspinall), Peter Band, Matty Taylor, Steve Tobin (Jody Banim), Simon Yeo, David Hanson (Carl Laurie), Anthony Charles
Stalybridge Celtic: Gary Ingham, Derek Ward, Tony Sullivan, Dominic Crookes, Martin Filson, Gary Bauress, Steve Pickford, Kevin Parr, Matty McNeil, Steve Jones, Stuart Locke. Subs: Alex Green, Josh Howard, Nigel Evans
Celtic maintained their title charge in this local derby to keep within sight of top of the table Emley and the Nationwide Conference. The first 15 minutes was all Celtic and the visitors created a number of corners but failed to make their dominance pay. John Foster came to Hyde's rescue on 18 minutes when he stopped a right wing cross from finding Matty McNeil in a good position. Hyde got into the game more as the half progressed and following a 15 minute stalemate, Simon Yeo managed to fire in a weak shot at the Stalybridge goal but it was easy for Gary Ingham to deal with. In the 3rd minute of first half stoppage time Hyde won a free kick when Steve Pickford brutally scythed down Matty Taylor on the right, Paul Robertson swung the ball into the penalty area and Simon Yeo powerfully headed past Ingham to put the Tigers ahead at the break. Matty McNeil became more dangerous for Celtic after the break and he should have scored minutes into the half but headed over from a good position. Celtic were level on 59 minutes, hesitancy in the Hyde defence saw McNeil first to the ball and Steve Pickford followed this up to roll the ball in from close range. Stalybridge should have gone ahead two minutes later when a cross from the right was missed by Bennett allowing McNeil to head towards an empty goal but Mark Beeston cleared from the goal line. On 66 minutes another cross was swung in from the right, Bennett came again this time clutching the ball in a crowd of players only to spill straight to Steve Pickford who couldn't really miss from 20 yards. Paul Robertson went close for Hyde 3 minutes later with a rising effort which just cleared the crossbar. Gary Ingham then had a moment of good fortune in the Celtic goal when a Robertson freekick was missed by everyone and went through the goalkeepers legs only to hit his ankle and trickle wide of the target. Simon Yeo went close with a header just over but Derby Day belonged to Celtic , this time.......